Out Now—Stateless (Stateless Series, Book 1) by Meli Raine (@meliraineauthor) #romanticsuspense #romance #suspense #newrelease
Release date: October 15, 2019
Genre: Romantic Suspense
When you’re born without a trace, no one knows you’re a weapon.
I lie for her.
I hunt for her.
I kill for her.
And above all, I betray my mission for her.
She doesn’t know why. She doesn’t care why.
Treason comes in many forms.
Love is one of them.
Our training taught me to be a sociopath. A machine. A pawn. Nothing more than a tool for a larger goal, without attachments or feelings.
Our teachers forgot one important detail:
Pawns shouldn’t have hearts.
Yet we do.
It turns out our emotions are our greatest weapon.
And I know exactly where mine are aimed.
The Stateless Series also includes:
Traceless (releasing 11.19.19)
Fateless (release date TBA)
Amazon (everywhere): https://geni.us/statelessAMZ
Apple Books: https://geni.us/statelessApple
Google Play: https://geni.us/statelessgoogle
Audiobook narrated by Joe Arden and Andi Arndt!
Audible (preorder now!): https://geni.us/statelessAudible
Amazon audio (preorder now!): https://geni.us/statelessAMZaud
Excerpts & Teasers (PLEASE CHOOSE ONLY ONE TO USE WITH YOUR POST)
I do not sleep.
Kina does, though, and that matters more.
Sleep is a luxury when we are in Woods. She knows it. I know I should catch an hour or two, especially with my five-night punishment and determination to go for six, but I can’t.
What did I just say?
What did I just do?
Kina has the dreams. I have the dreams. I’ve never told anyone else anything that wasn’t one hundred percent part of The Mission.
To confess emotion, to confess my own dreams that do not fit The Mission, could be punished by death.
Or worse. What if I really am so weak? Emotion is shameful. It’s disgusting.
We fail every time we feel.
She knows this. I know this.
And yet we both spoke. Shared.
What does this mean?
With her sleeping beside me, I let my mind wander, giving in to the luxury of imagination. For years, the dream has been the same.
A burning wood fire.
A screaming boy.
A woman with long hair being shot.
A man with a shaved head and blue eyes like mine beaten by another man with a log.
And me with my bow and arrow. My hands are tiny, the skin around the knuckles dimpled. I’ve worked with the four-year-olds here at the compound. I know what young hands look like.
Why would I dream like that?
Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.
Social Media Links:
Reviews and Endorsements for Meli Raine Books:
“The first book in the False trilogy is a psychological thriller worthy of Hitchcock, keeping you guessing until the very end.” — Apple Books Editors
“…intrigue and dark humor on display in this thriller…”
While the immediate—and more compelling—tension in Raine’s (A Shameless Little Bet, 2018, etc.) heart-pumping series opener comes from Lily’s constant proximity to her would-be killer, the action takes place against a backdrop of secret government scandals. The “screwed-up D.C.-insider scandal,” as it is clumsily summarized early on, is pleasingly twisty…
Fortunately, Lily’s voice is captivating, wry, and tough enough to sell this thriller. The novel ends with a cliffhanger that startles, if only because readers will have become so attached to Lily.
— Kirkus Reviews
“Fresh, riveting, and thrumming with emotion and romantic suspense, False Memory is absolutely unputdownable. You need this book!” – New York Times bestselling author Meghan March
“I accidentally lost a day to this trilogy! It is unputdownable. Apparently I’m on a dark-and-twisty binge, and this book is addictive.” – USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen (review for Harmless series)
Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.
The Secret of Blossom Rise: A Ghost Story:
When a young nurse accepts a job at a former military hospital she unearths a family secret and finds the spectral occupants a little too familiar.
A short ghost story.
This will be appearing soon in Here Be Ghosts Bundle.
CHARACTER NAME: Kate Williams, Chief of Police of Mendenhall, Manitoba
Let’s see. I’m a career police officer, over 30 years now, and I’ve served in big cities all across Canada. Now I’m the chief of police in Mendenhall, Manitoba, population 16,514, and to my surprise, I love it. I’m 54, 5’3” and usually a little rounder than I like. Lately, however, I’ve been looking a little gaunt, but can you blame me, after everything that’s happened?
I took the job of Chief of Police of Mendenhall two years ago, when the politics of the job in Toronto got to be too much. For some reason, I had thought policing in a small town would ease me nicely into retirement. So far, I’ve been shot, attacked by a madwoman, had my car destroyed by a sniper, been freaked out by a long-dead woman, and now I have to deal with bull semen and arsonists. And office politics? I had to get shot before my detachment finally pulled together behind me. The big city was never like this.
Well, of course I have a moral code. Every good police officer has one. Mine is simple: Do the right thing, for the right reason.
Huh. I never thought of that. I’m a bit of a loner and don’t make friends easily. I have friends, of course. Well, maybe they’re friendly acquaintances. The people I’m closest to are my colleagues, especially my deputy chief, Rob McKell. Which is surprising, really, when you consider that he was supposed to be a shoo-in for the job of chief of police and I swooped in from “outside” to take it from him.
I don’t have any personal enemies. Or, if I do, they’ve never identified themselves as such. There are people I don’t like, of course, but I avoid them. On the professional front, well, that’s a different story. You can’t be a police officer—a good one—without making enemies of the people you arrest. For me, it’s rarely personal. For them, it’s very personal.
Doing what needs to be done even when you’re afraid or could get hurt.
How much time do you have…?
My dad’s been dead for 15 years but Mom’s still hale and hearty, in spite of the accident that almost killed her last year. At 78, she’s met someone and is planning to move in with him. Took me a bit to get used to that idea, let me tell you. I have a brother, Charlie, who lives in the Maritimes. Like me, he never married. Then there’s Rose, my sister. She’s a few years younger than me, high strung, and every once in a while, a serious pain in the ass. She’s married to John, a university professor and a peach of a man with the patience of a saint. They have two kids: Sean, who’s travelling in Europe right now, and Amanda, who is the apple of my eye and who—to my joy and her mother’s outrage—has moved to Mendenhall.
Who the heck knows? I think it’s my stubbornness, but my family and colleagues would argue that’s a failing.
Kids. I’m deeply uncomfortable around kids. The younger they are, the worse it is. They look at me as if I’m some kind of alien. May have something to do with the way I talk to them. ::sigh::
I’m a police officer. A good one.
First, they see the woman, even when I’m in uniform. Almost without exception they are surprised that I am the chief of police. Then they accept and we move on. Mostly.
That I’ll let another child killer go.
Books in which this character appears:
Kate features in the Mendenhall Mystery series, along with DC Rob McKell, Constable Marco Trepalli and Kate’s niece, Amanda Coburn. The series consists of: The Shoeless Kid, The Tuxedoed Man, The Weeping Woman, The Untethered Woman and The Forsaken Man.
Links, short author bio…
Marcelle Dubé grew up near Montreal. After trying out a number of different provinces—not to mention Belgium—she settled in the Yukon, where people still outnumber carnivores, but not by much. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and her novels have been published by Carina Press and Falcon Ridge Publishing. Her best-known work is the Mendenhall Mystery series, featuring Chief of Police Kate Williams, “a heroine for our times,” as one reviewer named her.
Dubé writes mystery, science fiction and fantasy fiction. Her work is available as print and e-books.
I am delighted to announce the next Bundle! And this one is for charity:)
In commemoration of the World War One Centenary
Now on Pre-Order
One hundred years ago, in 1918, the Great War ended after four terrible years. Never had the world seen such a conflict. All touched by its scythe hoped we would never be thusly reaped again. Their hopes were but desperate dreams. Since that first armistice, there have been many more battles, and thousands have given their lives or their health to preserve freedom and escape from tyranny.
A hundred years after the first armistice we still remember and honour those brave souls. But still, the soldiers fall, for the War to End All Wars did not.
10% of the royalties from the Remembering Warriors bundle will go to the http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/ plus another 10% to https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/ two charities that support wounded and ex-service personnel and their families, in commemoration of the World War I centenary.
Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/remembering-warriors
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2AdOEmT
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2zWnKMt
I books http://apple.co/2BFldqf
Comrades in Arms by Kevin J Anderson https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/comrades-arms
Outside the Walls by A.L. Butcher and Diana L. Wicker https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/outside-walls
Norman Blood by Barbara G. Tarn https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/norman-blood
The Rise of a Warrior by Harvey Stanbrough https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/rise-warrior
Total War by Russ Crossley https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/total-war
Resonant Bronze by J.M, Ney-Grimm https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/resonant-bronze
Siren by Blaze Ward https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/siren
The Museum of Modern Warfare by Kristine Kathryn Rusch https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/museum-modern-warfare
Nothing for Nothing by Harvey Stanbrough https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/nothing-for-nothing
The Rescue by Blaze Ward https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/nothing-for-nothing
Soldier, Storyteller by Linda Maye Adams https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/soldier-storyteller
Heroes of Old by Russ Crossley https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/heroes-old
With a Broken Sword by Stefon Mears https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/with-broken-sword
Author name: Marcelle Dubé / The Tuxedoed Man
*Please tell us about your publications. I’ve written and published many short stories, much to my surprise. I always thought of myself as primarily a novelist, but in recent years, I’ve written more and more short stories, sometimes at the request of a publisher or to meet a thematic need, but more often because an idea got caught in my head and wouldn’t shake loose until I wrote it down.
My novels range from fantasy to mystery to modern gothic to “women’s thrillers.” I find that no matter the flavour of the novel, most of my stories end up with a mystery at their heart. For instance, Backli’s Ford features an alien species trying to fit in on earth, but really the story is a murder mystery at the heart of a greater conspiracy. Then the Mendenhall Mysteries (including The Tuxedoed Man) are straightforward mysteries
Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? Definitely a pantser. I’ve tried many techniques for writing novels and learned that plotting is not for me. I’ve written beautiful plot outlines and never wrote the novels because I didn’t see the point. I’d already written the story. As a pantser, I never really know what’s going to happen next, and that keeps me on my toes. Of course, it also means a lot of backtracking to take a different path.
What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Don’t do it. Step away from the keyboard. Don’t freak out the reviewers. They’re entitled to their opinions, whether they love your story, or hate it.
How do you deal with bad reviews? ::big sigh:: Every time I see a bad review, I have to go find my big girl panties and put them on. Then I get over it.
Sort these into order of importance:
Character is all. Period.
A close second to great characters. You need great characters, in a good story.
Setting matters. Your reader has to be able to see, smell and hear the setting, whether it’s a house in a Canadian suburb or a generation ship heading for a new planet.
Well, what the heck is that? I’ve never seen it and doubt I’ll ever achieve it. As long as I write a good story that resonates with my readers, I’m happy.
How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? I don’t really like to research but I am driven by insecurity. When I wrote Ghosts of Morocco, I did a *ton* of research. I’d never been there, was unfamiliar with the geography, politics, culture, languages… I have no idea why I set half the story there, but that’s where it had to be, so I researched.
The wildest subject I’ve looked at? To date, artificial bovine insemination. You wouldn’t believe how they go about it…
What’s the best piece best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Apply seat of pants to seat of chair. As in, don’t wait for “inspiration.” Write every day and exercise that writing muscle.
What is your writing space like? I have a ridiculously large bedroom, so I use a corner of it for my writing space. I use a long, narrow table and prop my laptop up on the Canadian Encyclopedia. On the wall in front of me are small cork boards with various cards, sayings and photos that inspire me. From the vantage of my writing chair, I can see the roofs of the houses across the way, and above them, Haeckel Hill and its windmills.
Tell us about your latest piece? I’ve just published The Forsaken Man, the fifth in my Mendenhall Mystery series featuring Chief of Police Kate Williams and her intrepid band of constables. I’m not really sure how I ended up with a series. It started with The Shoeless Kidand I found that I really liked the characters of the small police detachment in Mendenhall, Manitoba. Technically, the series is a police procedural, but it is very much character driven and feels “cozy.”
What’s your next writing adventure? Right now, I’m working on my second A’lle Chronicles mystery. The first one, Backli’s Ford, introduced the reader to Constance A’lle:
In the early 1700s, an A’lle generation ship crashed in the woods of Lower Canada. Survivors stumbled out of the wreckage to find French settlers working the land. While many of the colonists sheltered the injured A’lle, some reacted with fear and loathing. Two centuries later, nothing much has changed.
This is the world Constance, first A’lle investigator for Lower Canada, must deal with when she investigates the beating death of an A’lle boy in the small village of Backli’s Ford.
Set in 1911, Backli’s Ford follows Constance as she survives an ambush that would have killed a human, fights prejudice in the constabulary, and discovers a terrible secret that risks destroying the delicate balance that has endured for two centuries between A’lle and humans.
The second book, tentatively titled Plague, follows Constance and her sister Gemma as they work to discover who is murdering A’lle, and try to prevent a smallpox epidemic.
What is the last book you’ve read? Glass Houses, by Louise Penny—one of my favourite mystery writers. Right now, I’m halfway through Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck and while I’m getting a little freaked out, I can’t seem to put it down…
Are indie/self-published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this? I don’t think readers care if an author is indie published or traditionally published. As long as the cover is well designed and the story well written and well edited, why should they? Nobody buys their books based on who the publisher is. At least, I don’t.
Marcelle Dubé grew up near Montreal. After trying out a number of different provinces—not to mention Belgium—she settled in the Yukon, where people still outnumber carnivores, but not by much. Her novels are published by Falcon Ridge Publishing and Carina Press, and her short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. Learn more about her and her published work at http://www.marcellemdube.com.
The Tuxedoed Man appears in Winter Warmer Bundle
Tales of the Seasons – volume 1
Welcome to Nikki Andrews
Where are you from and where do you live now? I was born in New Jersey a long time ago, but since then I’ve mostly lived inside my head.
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My latest book, Framed, is a cozy mystery set in a New Hampshire art gallery. More books in that setting are in the works. I also dabble in sci-fi and just started a romantic thriller.
Where do you find inspiration? The world is so full of a number of things…Normal everyday life, with a twist.
Are your characters based on real people? Yes and no. I’ve used real people as a baseline for characters, but I blend in traits, habits, or idiosyncrasies from other people. So far, no real people have recognized themselves in my books.
Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? Oh yeah! (rubs hands together) That’s part of the fun.
Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? For Framed, I drew on my nine years as a picture framer, and did research into police procedures and messenger services. Like many writers, I’m a bit introverted, but I’m better at finding a person to talk to than I am at book/Google searches. And as I get older, I’ve gotten bolder at walking up to people who snag my interest. Once you get someone talking about their passion, it’s almost impossible to shut them up.
Is there a message conveyed within your writing? Do you feel this is important in a book? Books that beat you over the head with a “message” bore and annoy me. Story first, always. There is a–let’s call it a theme–that runs through my books, but I’d rather let readers discover it for themselves, if they are so inclined.
In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? Framed is available as an ebook or print. Large print and audio would be lovely, and in my spare time I’m looking into it.
Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I also work as an editor, and I’ve learned that no one can adequately self-edit. Every writer needs someone else to insist “this beloved passage adds nothing” or “you really need to expand that thought.” Even before I started thinking about becoming an editor, I used to mark up books where I thought changes would improve them. So yes, I think all books should be professionally edited.
What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? A book is far more interactive than movies or games. Books allow, even demand, the reader’s participation in imagining the world and the characters described. Just as a for-instance, I had a very different image of Gollum than what Peter Jackson gave the world. Every time I open a book, I become a co-creator with the author. And that is far more exciting than watching a movie or playing a game.
What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? Read widely, write daily, learn deeply.
Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? Just finished Ann Hillerman’s Spider Woman’s Daughter. I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to find she did an excellent job with her father’s characters, and I loved getting a feminine perspective on them. I’m curious to see what will happen if she goes on to create her own new characters and mysteries.
Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author? No, I couldn’t possibly name them. There are too many of each!
Can you name your worst job? Do you think you learned anything from the position that you now use in your writing? I won’t name the company where I worked as an admin assistant, but that job from hell did provide a deliciously evil character that I managed to kill off three times in one book. Bwaa-ha-ha!
Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I have been known to stand in front of the local planning board and make train noises at them.
Book links, website/blog and author links:
Today I welcome author and audiobook produce Lorna Collins.
My husband, Larry K. Collins, and I write both together and alone. After fifty years of marriage, we figured out how to do it.
We were both members of the team that helped to build the Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka. Our memoir of that experience, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, was a 2006 EPPIE finalist and chosen one of Rebeccas Reads best nonfiction books.
We have also co-written two cozy mysteries set in Hawaii: Murder…They Wrote and Murder in Paradise, the latter a finalist for the EPIC eBook Award for mystery. We are currently working on more in the series. The Memory Keeper, is our historical novel set in San Juan Capistrano.
I co-authored six sweet romance anthologies set in the fictional town of Aspen Grove, CO: Snowflake Secrets, Seasons of Love, An Aspen Grove Christmas, The Art of Love, …And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe, and Directions of Love, 2011 EPIC eBook Award winner.
My fantasy/mystery/romance, Ghost Writer, launched Oak Tree Press’s Mystic Oaks imprint. It combines elements of fantasy, romance, and mystery. It’s a beach read with a dog, and a ghost.
In addition, I am a professional editor.
How did you become involved with audiobooks?
A friend and fellow author had one of his books made into an audiobook. I was very impressed with the result. When I looked into the details, I decided to see about our books recorded.
Tell us about your the titles you’ve had narrated. Do you have a favourite amongst these?
Our first audiobook was Ghost Writer. This is my solo “beach read.” It was published by mid-level independent publisher. The contract with her did not include the audio rights. However, I checked with her to be sure I could convert it and also for permission to use the cover art. She was enthusiastic and said she’d hoped one of her authors would try audio.
I must confess my favorite to date, however, is The Memory Keeper. This is our historical novel set in the 1800s in San Juan Capistrano, California. The story is told in the voice of a Juaneño Indian. We spent nearly three years researching and writing this book, so we were very particular about how it would be presented. The voice actor we chose, Aaron Miller, was nearly as much of a perfectionist as we were. He struggled through the Indian words as well as the Spanish ones. (He was born in Wisconsin and now lives in Tennessee where Spanish is not a common language.) The final book perfectly captures the voice of our protagonist along with all of the other characters in the story.
We liked him so much, he is now creating the audiobook for Larry’s short story collection, Lakeview Park.
The gal who did Ghost Writer, Jean Ruda Habrukowich, is now doing one of the sweet romance anthologies I was part of, …And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe.
How did you choose your narrators?
For an author, the process is quite simple. I uploaded an audition text. I chose a section of each book with several characters so I could see how the actor would interpret their voices. For Ghost Writer, the narrator had to be female since the story is written in the POV of a young woman. However, the other major character is a very proper British ghost, who is male. I wanted to be sure the actor found the right tone of voice for both. Jean nailed it.
For The Memory Keeper, we needed a male voice. Aaron had me as soon as he pronounced San Juan Capistrano with just the right touch of Spanish accent. He also indicated he would work with us on getting all the voices and pronunciation correct. A few of the words (like alcalde, noshuun, and Elena) gave him problems, but in the end, the book sounds better than we could have hoped for.
Are you planning on having more books made into audio?
Yes. We can only do the ones for which we have the audio rights, so we are limited. For some of our fourteen titles, the publisher’s contract gives them the audio rights. However, Larry has written a sci-fi series, The McGregor Chronicles. So far he has two books published in the series with the third due out before the end of the year. As soon as Aaron finishes Lakeview Park, we’ll get him started on the sci-fi books.
We also would like to have our memoir, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, done in audio. We have had a couple of auditions for it, but the people had no knowledge of Japanese, and one had a New York accent. We have helped several friends embark on the audio process, and one of them is currently using a husband and wife team for their book. We have spoken to them about their doing ours when the other one is finished. Since our memoir is written in two voices, this will be the perfect solution.
*Tell us about the ACX process.
This turned out to be much simpler than I had imagined. Our last few books have been published through KDP and CreateSpace, so I was familiar with those processes. Amazon now owns ACX, so they have made it much simpler for everyone involved.
Some books garner more auditions than others. Some genres attract more actors. Within two days of posting Lakeview Park, Larry had three auditions. Since one was from Aaron, we decided to stay with him. However, either of the other two would have been terrific.
During the actual recording, the author and actor are in communication. When the chapters are completed, the actor posts them to ACX. The author can then listen and send back comments or corrections.
When the entire book is completed, the actor closes the file and the author approves the book for publication. It appears on ACX and Amazon in about ten days to two weeks.
What aspects do you find most enjoyable?
We were fortunate to find two excellent actors for our books. Both of them were nearly as picky as I am! Both were willing to make as many changes/corrections as necessary to ensure a quality product.
Hearing our books read added a whole new dimension to them. We knew what we thought they should sound like, but the final interpretations were far better than we could have hoped for.
Did you choose royalty share for your books? Why is this?
Confession: I’m essentially cheap. We have done (and plan to do) all of our books with a royalty share agreement. It is a win-win for both author and voice artist. From the time the book is listed for sale, passive income is generated for both parties.
Do you listen to audiobooks?
Yes. I have listened to more of them since our books have become available. They are great for long car trips. Larry used to listen to the text-to-speech feature on his old Kindle on long commutes for work. The actual audiobooks are much more enjoyable.
*With many people owning MP3 players, do you think this is the future of storytelling?
I don’t think books—ebooks and print—will ever go away. But many people enjoy the listening process. We are at an age where many of our friends have developed vision issues, including macular degeneration. They can now enjoy our books.
Why do you think audio books are becoming so popular?
They are now much more accessible, and more people are commuting. In addition, the actors producing them are getting better and better. The sheer competition is improving the quality.
Did you consider producing your own audiobooks, or do you prefer to look for an independent narrator? Why have you made this choice?
We had talked for years about producing our own books—especially our memoir. But the cost of renting a studio and the time required to get the task done seemed daunting. We have been very fortunate to have found exceptionally good actors who understood our books.
Has ACX/Audible fulfilled your expectations? (such as earnings, ease of use, workload etc.?)
So far, it has exceeded our expectations. We had anticipated having to work with the actors, monitor the completed chapters, convey our expectations to them, and the process was very satisfying. Of course, we were blessed with terrific actors. It made all the difference.
Please tell us a silly fact about yourself.
My husband, Larry, says I collect friends like other people collect stamps or coins. Very true. I strike up friendships in the supermarket line. I’m still in touch with nearly all of my friends from childhood, grammar school, high school, college, and nearly every place I’ve ever worked. I actually know who every one of my 1500+ Facebook friends is and how we met.
Where can we learn more about you?
You can find out more about me at our website: http://www.lornalarry.com
Follow my blog at: http://lornacollins-author.blogspot.com/
Social Media links:
LinkedIn: Lorna Collins http://tinyurl.com/nunt9no
Welcome to John Paul Wohlschied
Where are you from and where do you live now? The answer to both is Grand Rapids, Michigan. USA
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I have self-published two books so far. In December 2013, I published Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth, my take on the post-WW2 hard-boiled detective genre. It involves a detective named Benny Cahill, a dead jockey, a fixed horse race, and a pile of money. After I published it, someone suggested that I published a collection of stories with the same main character. So, last month I published Trouble is my Client, a collection of four new Benny Cahill stories. In this book, Cahill deals with a scuffle over a rich man’s will, a radio actor receiving death threats, a bank robbery and a dead scientist.
Where do you find inspiration? I’m a big fan of radio shows from the 30s-50s, known as the golden age of radio. I also enjoy older films, especially comedies and detective shows. I also do a lot of reading on a wide range of topics, history, technology, religion.
Do you have a favourite character? If so why? Not really. I have hundreds of characters in stories both published and not, so it’s almost impossible to pick out one.
Do you have a character you dislike? If so why? Yes, the ones that make me work the hardest.
Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? No. I’ve read of other authors doing that, but I’ve never had to.
Is there a message conveyed within your writing? Do you feel this is important in a book? When I took English Lit in college, my prof asked us what message Phillip Marlowe was trying to get across in The Big Sleep. I thought to myself, “I don’t know, I just enjoyed the story.” To be honest I don’t think stories need a message. If anything, the message of all my detective stories is the same: “crime doesn’t pay.”
Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) Solid plot, great characters, great world building, and technically perfect. Plot is the most important part. If you don’t have plot, you don’t have anything. After plot, you need great characters to make the plot work. I don’t do a lot of world building, I just drop hints. If can get everything technically correct, that’s great but sometimes you need your character to use something from a different time. The plot comes before being technically correct.
In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason?Currently, all my published stories are available as ebooks. Right now I don’t have any plans to expand into other formats. I’m busy writing and ebooks are a cheap way to publish.
Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I do some self-editing, but I have a couple of people who help me out. It probably helps to hire someone to do the editing professionally, but you don’t always need it. Just have some friends who are good with grammar take a look at it.
Do you read work by self-published authors? Yep. I trawl Smashwords and check out the latest releases from time to time.
What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? It can helpful, if the author needs to clarify something that the reviewer didn’t understand or like. But it can be a problem if the author doesn’t know how to take criticism and it turns into a shouting match. Reviews can help inform future readers.
What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot?Books can provide better imagery and more story that both movies and video games can’t provide. I mean, quite often when they make the movie version of a book, they leave a lot of information out or condense it. Also, some battle scenes may look great on the big screen, but in the mind’s eye they can look even bigger and cooler.
Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? I finished reading my friend’s book, Chasing Liberty. It is a great book with suspense and an enjoyable main character.
Do you have a favourite movie? When I was younger, I almost wore out a VHS copy of Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Do you have any pets? No. Used to have an outside cat, but he left.
Welcome to Rita Lee Chapman
Where are you from and where do you live now? I live in Queensland, Australia. It’s hot and beautiful. I live near the sea, so the breeze is always wecome.
Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I have two self-published books, Missing in Egypt, which is a romantic travel mystery and Winston – A Horse’s Tale which is for horse lovers from teenagers upwards.
Missing in Egypt is about an Australian working for a Member of Parliament who falls in love with a constituent. She travels to Egypt with him to look for his brother, who has disappeared whilst on holiday. It contains vivid descriptions of Egyptian sites and temples.
Winston – A Horse’s Tale is told by Winston himself and tells of his life in Australia and the different people and horses he meets along the way.
Do you have a favourite character? If so why? Winston – a horse of course!
Are your characters based on real people? No, my stories are purely fiction but I try to include some real places and facts to give them some realism.
Is there a message conveyed within your writing? There was in Winston – A Horse’s Tale, because I am trying to put across the horse’s point of view in understanding our demands and expectations.
In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these? (If applicable) Missing in Egypt is available as an e-book, paperback and large print edition.
Winston – A Horse’s Tale is available as an e-book and a paperback. I would be happy to do a large print edition if there is sufficient interest.
Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? Yes, I do self-edit, although I can see the advantages of using a professional editor as you tend not to see your own mistakes, whereas other peoples are always obvious!
What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? A review should always be honest and unbiased, whoever is doing it. The fact that we all have different tastes can make it hard to know whether a review is helpful to you when choosing a book.
What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? Edit, edit and edit!
What are your best marketing/networking tips? Publish in paperback as well as an e-book. It gives you more options and you can’t beat the feeling of seeing your book in print. Join Goodreads and do a giveaway promotion; have your own website. My website has a Guest Author page so if anyone would like to be featured they can contact me through http://www.ritachapman.com.
Most authors also like to read, what books do you enjoy? What book(s) have you just finished? I enjoy romance, thrillers, mystery, autobiographies and books about animals. I love Australian authors Kate Morton, Bryce Courtney, Colleen McCullough as well as Fiona Walker and Jeffrey Archer.
I’ve just finished a Reader’s Digest Select Editions book featuring The Loop by Nicholas Evans, The Kremlin Device by Chris Ryan, Somebody’s Baby by Elaine Kagan and The Coffin Dancer by Jeffrey Deaver. I’m a big fan of the Reader’s Digest Select Editions and also Encounters (which are true stories).
Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I still think I look as I did when I was thirty – I don’t know whose face it is looking back at me in the mirror!
Book links, website/blog and author links:
Winston – A Horse’s Tale
Missing in Egypt
LARGE PRINT EDITION: http://www.amazon.com/Missing-Egypt-Rita-Lee-Chapman/dp/149121872X/
Smashwords interview: https://www.smashwords.com/interview/RChapman1